The prediction of Tokyo Great Earthquake
In the spring of 1923, Onisaburo Deguchi, a spiritual leader of Oomoto religion, predicted the Great Kantō earthquake in Japan.
Deguchi Onisaburo (1871-1948). He was a spiritual leader of religious movement in Japan in the early 1900s and left a voluminous amount of prophetic writings. According to some of his followers, Onisaburo's prediction rate is more than 95%.
At that time, Kiyosumi Kakei, one of the followers of Onisaburo was reading a book 'Reikai Monogatari' (Stories of Spiritual World) which was prophetic writings written by Onisaburo in 1922.
The following are the conversations between Onisaburo and Kakei.
"What are you doing?"
"I am reading your book, 'Reikai Monogatari'."
An autograph manuscript of Reikai Monogatari (Stories of Spiritual World) written by Onisaburo.
"Oh, you really are enthusiastic.
I am glad of it.
By the way, there will be a big earthquake in Tokyo in the near future."
Why do you say that?"
"This long rain is ominous."
"Is that mentioned in this book?"
"Yes, I did."
"Please tell me where that is mentioned in this book."
"I described that as 'the explosion of ETONA'.
I published a book before, saying 'Tokyo will be totally destroyed'.
But, that book was banned by the authorities.
So, in this book, I described the earthquake in Tokyo as 'the explosion of ETONA', so that the book would not be banned, but anyone could easily understand what I really mean.
'ETO' implies 'Edo (the former name of Tokyo)' and 'NA' is an archaic word, meaning 'the ground,' which was used in the Manyo (Nara) period of Japan.
Thus, 'ETONA' represents 'The ground in Edo', that is, 'The ground in Tokyo'."
"So, when will the earthquake come?"
"It will come in this autumn.
Tokyo will be a critical state in the beginning of this autumn.
By the way, don't tell anybody about this.
Otherwise, you would give them (the authorities) an excuse for suppressing us again."
The outbreak of the Great Kantō Earthquake
Source - File:Japan location map with side map of the Ryukyu Islands.svg, (Chumwa) AVHRR Land Cover SRTM Data, ETOPO1
On September 1, 1923, a few months after the above prediction, the Great Kantō earthquake struck the Kantō Plain.
The earthquake had a magnitude of 7.9 on the moment magnitude scale, with its focus deep beneath Izu Ōshima Island in Sagami Bay.
This earthquake devastated Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, and the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka, and caused widespread damage throughout the Kantō region.
Furthermore, the earthquake caused a huge fire, which burned and destroyed the greater part of the Tokyo city.
Metropolitan Police Department burning at Marunouchi, near Hibiya Park.
The fire clouds over Kantō, as seen from some distance away.
The fire clouds over Tokyo city.
According to Journal of Japan Association for Earthquake Engineering, Vol.4 (2004) No.4 P21-45, Moroi and Takemura, this earthquake caused unprecedented damage, with about 1,900,000 people affected, about 105,000 people dead or missing, about 109,000 houses completely destroyed, and about 212,000 houses burned down.
Japan's first western-style skyscraper, Ryōunkaku before and after the Great Kantō earthquake.
Desolation of Nihonbashi and Kanda seen from the Roof of Dai-ichi Sogo Building, Kyōbashi.
As a result, Tokyo city was totally destroyed by this earthquake as predicted by Onisaburo.
Reactions from the media and people to the Onisaburo's fulfilled prediction
By the way, Onisaburo warned Kakei not to talk about the earthquake prediction with anyone, because he thought that his earthquake prediction would attract public attention and give the authorities an excuse for suppressing the spiritual movement by Onisaburo and his followers.
However, Onisaburo's prediction became a hot topic among people soon after the earthquake, because his book saying "Tokyo will be totally destroyed" had been widely known to them before it was banned by the authorities.
Some media even reported as follows:
"Onisaburo's prediction came true!"
When the earthquake struck the Kantō Plain, Onisaburo stayed in Kyushu.
On hearing the news of the earthquake, Onisaburo decided to return to Kyoto, immediately.
When Onisaburo got on the train from Kyushu to Kyoto, passengers crowded about him and they cheered enthusiastically.
"You've done it!"
However, Onisaburo felt very ashamed of them.
He thought that such an ill prediction shouldn't have been realized, because many victims were suffering a wretched condition at that very moment.
Destruction of the area around Sensō-ji temple in Asakusa, Tokyo.
Earthquake victims sought refuge by a train from the NIppori Station to the local areas.
Ironically, people called Onisaburo a liar when he predicted the future, while they cheered him loudly when his prediction came true.
Therefore, Onisaburo ordered his followers not to spread his prediction of the earthquake disaster and to devote themselves to the relief operation of the victims of the disaster.
May 13, 2018
- Kyotaro Deguchi (August 30, 2001). "A giant, Onisaburo Deguchi."
- Kazuaki Deguchi (September 25, 1978). "Prophecies and affirmations of Nao & Onisaburo Deguchi."
- Sugen Takeda (September 3, 2013). "Warning from the spirit world by Onisaburo Deguchi."
- Hiroaki Izuka (2007-2018) "Reikai Monogatari Net."